Medical Marijuana: California's Booming Market Offers Substantial Tax Revenues, Report Finds

Medical marijuana is a billion dollar a year business in California, according to a new report, and the state's bottom line could improve dramatically if it were taxed like other herbal medicines. The report, "Revenue and Taxes from Oakland's Cannabis Economy," was prepared for that city's Measure Z Oversight Committee by California NORML head Dale Gieringer and and Oakland Civil Liberties Alliance board member Richard Lee.

While the report focused on Oakland, which has seen medical marijuana revenues and the taxes derived from them decline dramatically since the city tightened regulations on dispensaries in recent years, it also looked at state and federal data to attempt to draw a state-wide picture of the size of the therapeutic cannabis industry. According to the data, the state's medical marijuana patients are currently consuming somewhere between $870 million and $2 billion worth of weed a year. That would translate to somewhere between $70 million and $120 million in state sales tax revenues, the authors estimated.

But currently, the state treasury is receiving nowhere near that because many dispensaries do not pay sales taxes or keep financial records that could be used against them in a federal investigation. Other dispensaries and patient groups argue that nonprofit collectives and co-ops should be exempt from taxes.

The study estimated the number of California medical marijuana patients at between 150,000 and 350,000. There is no firm figure, because unlike many other medical marijuana states, there is no comprehensive, statewide registry of patients. Those patients each smoke about a pound of pot a year.

Medical marijuana patients account for about 10% of California marijuana users, the study found, suggesting that tax revenues from a legal recreational marijuana market would skyrocket into the low billions of dollars each year. The state is currently spending about $160 million a year to arrest, prosecute, and imprison marijuana offenders, and not collecting any tax revenue from recreational sales.

State officials have a fiduciary responsibility to the citizens they represent. This report makes clear just how miserably California officials are shirking that responsibility.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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your medicine should not be taxed.

"Other dispensaries and patient groups argue that nonprofit collectives and co-ops should be exempt from taxes."

Medicines should not be taxed. PERIOD.

Everyone just needs to hold

Everyone just needs to hold on these kinds of things may be hard now but it is showing signs of change in the future be patient everyone!


Why not? It's a consumer, not a public good. If it's not taxed, where's the money that goes into medical research and production going to come from? You have to think logically, it all comes down to money, and where else would the money come from? You can't just say THIS SHOULD BE FREE. IT SHOULD ALL BE FREE. WE SHOULD MAKE IT FREE. The issue with using the word 'free' when talking about a product is that "free" can mean many different things. It's not free to make, circulate, etc., if you want it free for anyone, somebody else has to cover the costs.


I believe it should be taxed, they make a profit off there patients, the way it works is they use your name in there collective.. in California 6 plants at a time per patient. which equals 6 plants times 3 = 18 plants times 16 onces, the non-profit collectives sell onces to their customers and mentally ill college kids, from 240 to 360 an once = 28,800 off each patient.. times that to 100 patients = 488,000 US DOLS +/- or if they are huge 2000 patients = 57,600,000 US DOLS +/-.. they should be paying taxes. most collectives are started up by wealthy persons with lawyers.. hiding behind non-profit titles. note: there are good small honest companies selling medical marijuana.. I grow for my self.. to save money, due to I only make 8.57 a hour.. no way could I buy from the collectives, its Pot for rich folks.. part of the reason it was passed to help the state of California with its problems.. so i wonder the average collective that has 100 patients and makes 480,000 a month who is taking home the big cash or who is it going too. they pay there employees 10 to 18 an hour and have 6 to 10 employees working. total math is averages out +/- figures, monthly a collective makes  821,000 every 3 months and there employee costs are around 18,000, note if they are non-profit they don't have to get health insurance for there employees.. they are ruining it for honest shops and delivery partnerships..  if i open a Pot business I will pay my state and federal taxes, and give health insurance to my employees and donate money to the homeless and hungry.. and only give my self a general manager salary. greedy people mean crime families are involved.. no records = dirty deeds.. even casinos have records of their money flow.. its looking bad.. really bad.

No Tax!

I agree,
I can barly afford my medicin as it is, taxing it would mean I get less, hurt more, work less, and make less $... a steady downfall if you ask me!


Not taxing would mean a

Not taxing would mean a bigger cut of your paycheck. The money has to come from somewhere.

people medicate more than 1.2 grams per day

Most patients purchase more than one LB. per yr. Non profit corporations should be taxed, Most club owners own more than one club, and many are making high six and over seven figure incomes .Doctors are also making a fortune charging $150-300 A YEAR PER PERSON CASH ONLY.Prop.215 was not created so Dr's,Growers and club owners could get rich. Bottom line laws need to be changed, legalization and taxation, rather than wasting millions persecuting and prosecuting As it stands patients pay more in a club than on the street.Club owners buying new houses,cars and watches , they mark up their shit 100-1000% &tell me how commpassionate they are.A patient in central coast

think about the clubs

You are quick to jump at the clubs blaming them for price gouging for marking up their prices but did you know that federal law still says it is illegal? This is common knowledge, i know, which is why it frustrates me when people complain about club prices. Medical Marijuana club owners are facing federal prosecution, raids, and humiliation so should should their prices be as low as your local highschool dealer? NO! It would definately be nice but until federal law changes prices should and will stay up.


I want to know where all the marijuana is going with all the recent 'store' closures. The growers must have an excess
of medicine ready to go bad because it's not being moved. The patients are hurting and the prices are cruel. Why does
guyringer allow that? advocate $5 ounces of Dank and $3 ounces of schwag(stress) for the patients. Arnold don't help.
How long will we have to wipe his asp? make calls write letters bug the guy about not being healthy from lack of medicine.
What happened to Let Us Pay Taxes and the Billion with a B dollars he was offered? I tried to find a coop I grow great 'tomatoes' and I tried to get hooked up in a patient way bringing to the coop. However all the Stores and Deliveries turned
out to be Just DRUG DEALERS. Jim McGowan, David Chavez Sr. David. Chavez Jr. ad inf. Time for the patients to be more responsible pick up the doobs and write letters The people behind prohibition are the one making the money. Talk about a phuked up way of life. But this is America and and and Goodday.

i luv blazing weed it gets

i luv blazing weed it gets me so high i luv it
bless mary jane

the excess from closed clubs

the excess from closed clubs just ends up in the streets obviously. im a patient and i do find it very annoying how high the club prices are. you can easily get better deals on the streets. clubs also do shady stuff to make their money. like change names of weed and fluctuate prices to make it sell better. clubs get trees for extremely cheap prices, compared to both the streets and the prices the clubs charge for it. and obviously if marijuana were just made a legal cash crop it would be dirt cheap. patients shouldnt have to turn their wallets inside out to obtain relief. but i guess thats how all of the medicine industry works....

Mary Jane= The TRUTH

Not only can this all NATURAL plant immensly help the ill, but it can made the sad happy, the anorexic hungry, and the people who cant sleep at night tired. Its only side effects; hungry, happy, sleepy. Its not like the other bullshit perscription drugs that doctors issue that have 45 side effects that place long term effects and problems and individuals, its a real all natural drug that can work wonders if we let it. This is the ultimate cure, and could be the best medicine herb in our whole planet. Why are we turning something SO GOOD and making it so bad.....its ridiculus. Marijuana is far less worse than tobacco, or any nicotine. Legalize it already people. Its never killed anyone directly and you cant die from too much....All the signs point good i just cant fathym how anyone could be against this gift from god

commpassionate capitalizim?

i am a grower from mendicino co. just making it through the season ,ripoffs,cops,bugs,water shortages,andforest the have to run the gauntlett of k.9. patrolles. to get to the city.where the clubs are now getting pounds fronted to them for2300 a p. no garenty some of these ars holes will pay you. the patiants are getting ripped off ,the growers are getting ripped off.while the mafia "s are making a killing.none of it is right. its all a scam.capitalizm rules the day

Is medical marijuana being currently taxed?

I have a question that me and my friends were arguing about early today, Is medical marijuana currently being taxed?

Tax on Medical Marijuana

It is, and there's also state fees for the production and prescription of it.

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